LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Immigration activists rallied Friday in downtown Los Angeles in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program amid reports that President Trump reportedly plans to end the program.
Speaking from the Oval Office, Trump told reporters Friday a decision would be made by this weekend on whether to end the program, which allows young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally with their families to stay with permits.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters later this afternoon that nothing would finalized until Tuesday.
Asked if DACA recipients — generally known as DREAMers under the DREAM Act — should be worried, he responded, “We love the DREAMers. We love everybody. … We think the DREAMers are terrific.”
Only immigrants without criminal records who were brought to the country when they were younger than 16 years old are eligible for DACA work permits, which must be renewed every two years.
Rallying in downtown L.A., local immigrants, elected officials and labor leaders urged the Trump administration to maintain the program that has helped an estimated 800,000 people avoid deportation.
“We don’t want 800,000 people who have been vetted, who have applied, who have given all of their information to the government to now have to go underground,” labor leaders Maria Elena Durazo said. “That’s what Donald Trump wants? I say no to that.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, when asked on Wisconsin radio station WCLO about Trump’s rumored move to roll back so-called DACA protections for such children, said, “I actually don’t think we should do that.”
“This is something that Congress has to fix,” he added.
And Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch sent out a statement in anticipation of a Trump announcement on Friday saying he’s urged Trump not to revoke former President Barack Obama’s efforts to protect “individuals who entered our country unlawfully as children through no fault of their own and who have built their lives here.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)